Racquet Review: Donnay Pro One Midplus


Price: $198
Head Size: 102 sq. in.
Length: 27 in.
Weight: 11.1 oz.
Balance: 3 pts. HL
Swingweight: N/A
RA Rating: 63
Beam Width: 21 mm
String Pattern: 16×19
NTRP: 3.5+

No other Slam brings the nostalgia quite like Wimbledon. Whether it’s the grass courts, the white attire, or the just the classic matches, something about it inspires reminiscence. Even the equipment used in big matches seems to gain in importance. For anyone who remembers, it’s impossible to think of Bjorn Borg’s run to five straight titles without recalling his trademark Donnay Allwood.

While times have changed, and you won’t see any pros using a Donnay come championship Sunday, the company is back producing quality frames. A few years ago when I heard Donnay was making a comeback I demoed one of their newer offerings, the Black 94. The ultra thin profile had my opponent cracking that I was swinging a flyswatter. However, the frame was remarkably sturdy and comfortable. Had I been serious about switching racquets at the time, it would have been a serious contender.

This year’s models don’t include the Black, but there are updates to the classic Pro One line. There are three different versions including the Midplus, which our tester, and Donnay aficionado, Mark Avedikian tried out. Here’s his assessment:


Mark Avedikian: Donnay’s 2014 line is out with some updates to their bestselling frames. The racquets are now Xenecore frames by Donnay, which tells me that Xenecore is making a bigger push to get into more areas of the sporting goods and mainstream manufacturing market with their material that is already used in the military for sound proofing and shock dampening. Xenecore is known for its strength to weight ratio as well, and is used in aircraft wings, nosecones, helmets, and vests.

Safety studies have been done comparing the effects on the body of dual-core Xenecore frames versus hollow or foam-filled racquets; the findings have been quite promising. (Click here and here to read two of them). Besides that, I have always been a fan of the Donnay brand as it brings back memories of watching Bjorn Borg as a child, and later the flash of Andre Agassi with his colorful Pro One frame. When Donnay came out with their original Xenecore frames I was impressed with their arm-friendly qualities as well as the super thin beam that is still carried forward with the 2014 version of the Gold and Silver 99’s.

The Pro One Midplus that I tested has a slightly larger, 102 sq. in. head, and a thicker 21mm beam width. It’s also standard length and checks in with a strung weight of 11.1 oz. The flex occupies that nice feel of being soft enough to be old-school, but just firm enough for some added pop to get you out of trouble when on defense. I noticed that this new version has a livelier feel to the previous extended version which felt very muted—dare I say dead—so this was a welcomed improvement.

The frame also moved through the air a bit quicker than previous Pro One models. It made me wish that the frame was even a bit a more headlight to tame some of the power in the sweet spot, as I felt there was a hot spot that produced a few fliers. If I stuck with the frame I’d have to experiment with string and tension to tame the problem. (I strung this frame at 48lbs with a Donnay co-poly, then later at 55 lbs with Monogut ZX.) Donnay also has weighted butt caps that you can use to change the balance of the racquet. This could be why the company has gone to less head-light balances for their frames, and leaving it up to users to customize to their liking.

To go along with that power, the 16×19 string pattern on the Pro One produces decent spin, but it will not generate it for you. Better players will not have any issues producing heavy topspin or tight slice when needed, but it’s something to consider if you’re lacking in that department.

If ground strokes were unsteady at times, serving as well as volleying with this frame were great. The plush feel led to great control and touch on volleys, while there was enough mass to handle hard-hit passes. And the extra power that caused a few erratic groundies was a welcome addition to my serves. I could really serve bombs and felt like this is one area where the racquet shined.

All in all, the Pro One is a very solid update. It should appeal to all-courters who like a little extra pop without a lot of weight, especially those with arm issues.

Source: tennis.com by Jon Levey

Scientific Evidence Proves Less Shock from Solid Core Racquets

NEW YORK, May 06, 2014 — As seen in a recent NY Times article, published on April 28, 2014 by Ben Rothenberg, wrist injuries are now overtaking tennis elbow. Ben cites Dr. Richard Berger an orthopedic surgeon at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., “….Tennis is one of those sports that, honestly, the wrist is one of the structures at most risk because the force of contact with the ball is transmitted directly through the wrist….”

It is already well documented that half of all tennis players will develop an arm injury in their lifetime. Found here is more information about the arm injury epidemic, as 34 of the top 40 players have retired from 117 matches from an arm injury.

Independent scientific studies have been done on hollow “air molded” racquets and dual core and triple core racquets, showing that less shock is transmitted with the dual core and triple core racquets.  The full study shows that a child in an intensive training program will receive at least 400,000 lbs of force in the arm by using hollow racquets, in which most consumers are unaware that these racquets are hollow, and will eventually incur permanent injury requiring surgery.

According to Dr. Joshua Dines, an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in Sports Medicine at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery and former team doctor for the U.S. Davis Cup team, “If shock and stress is reduced by three times, the likelihood of injury is exponentially less because you are playing well below the injury threshold and there is faster recovery during off times.”

All The Zing Without The Sting

Scientific research study proves that high-performance solid-core tennis racquets dramatically reduce harmful shock and vibrations that can lead to arm injuries.

NEW YORK, April 25, 2014 — High-performance multi-layered solid core tennis racquets won “hands-down” over conventional hollow racquets in a recently published scientific study that measured the effectiveness of the two designs in dampening shock and vibration and reducing the harmful energy transmitted on ball contact that can cause wrist, arm, elbow and shoulder injuries.

Three dual-core and two triple core frames that are exclusively designed and manufactured by the Xenecore and Donnay brands were tested against five hollow-core racquets from the leading manufacturers in the study published by Elsevier Ltd., a global academic publisher of medical and scientific literature.

“Overall, the dual and triple core designs demonstrated significantly lower shock forces and vibratory forces and dampened vibration quicker than the hollow designs,” reported the authors from OrthoKinetic Technologies. LLC of Southport NC, which conducted the test using an ISO17025 certified third-party independent test facility and a team of highly qualified mechanical and biomechanical engineers.

The dual and triple core designs successfully dampened the oscillations (the pendulum-like back-and-forth movement of the vibrations after impact) by at least 35% for the dual core and 50% for the triple core compared to the hollow frames, according to the study. The range of vibration dampening time in all models tested was from two-tenths of a second for a triple-core frame to .8 seconds for one of the hollow frames.

Additionally the authors reported that the amplitudes (the greater the amplitude the more energy it transmits) during oscillations following the initial shock impulse force for the core-handle design resulted in a reduction of shock force “by at least 65%” compared to 22% for the hollow frames.

It is well documented that the long-term repetitive impact on the upper extremities in tennis can increase the risk of tissue fatigue and injury, leading to inflammation of the tendons and soft tissue in the wrist, elbows and shoulders and small stress fractures and chronic degeneration of the surrounding soft tissues from small tears that were incompletely healed.

“The solid-core racquets help players avoid arm injuries because the tendons in their elbows, forearms and shoulders are seeing less stress,” said Dr. Joshua Dines, an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in Sports Medicine at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery and former team doctor for the U.S. Davis Cup team.
“I think in addition to using proper technique and avoiding overuse, solid-core racquets provide a huge potential safety benefit for recreational players.”

The purpose behind the study is that there is little that has been written and documented about the effects of racquet frame design on the extremities compared to volumes on how poor player mechanics and even how tight and harsh string can result in increasing stress transfer and vibration from the racquet to the player.

“Poor stroking technique is frequently accused, conveniently diverting scrutiny from racquet design, but, as the calculations on this site prove, risk factors for tennis elbow include: (1) light racquet weight and (2) head-heavy balance. Stiff frames are also bad,” according to RacquetResearch.com.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF), the global governing body of the sport, reported in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in 2006 that “the combination of the increased stiffness of modern rackets and the tendency for tennis balls to have become harder has led to an increased shock transmission from the racket to the player, which is probably a major contributor to tennis elbow.” The ITF also states that about half of recreational tennis players will suffer at least one bout with tennis elbow during their playing lifetimes.

This epidemic wasn’t the case when all tennis racquets were made from flexible solid-core wood. Vibration on ball contact disappeared quickly because it was dampened by the flexibility of the solid wood. But they weighed as much as 16 ounces, making them difficult to maneuver, especially for smaller and less accomplished recreational players.

However, with the advent of new carbon materials racquet manufacturers were able to reduce weight by making the frames hollow and compensate for the weight loss with much stiffer frames that were much more powerful than the flexible wood frames.

But while the lighter and stiffer racquets have made the game more accessible for recreational players, some critics say it has gone too far. Tennis legend Martina Navratilova, for one, complained that modern composite racquets have “added too much power and have put enormous wear and tear on young bodies” in an article titled “Sidelined in their Prime” that appeared in the Jan. 9, 2009 edition of Newsweek.

“More injuries are likely,” she sternly warned, “unless tennis’s governing bodies modify the [large numbers of tournaments on the] calendar and fight back against the racquet manufacturers that have hijacked the game.”

“The study shows that hollow rackets transmit 45,000 pounds of force per match and kids in intensive training programs hitting 2,000 balls a day means 400,000 pounds of force is transmitted to the arm with hollow racquets,” said Jerry Choe, CEO of Xene Corporation that designs and manufactures the Donnay and Xenecore racquet brands. “After six straight months of 6 hour days, they will need surgery.

The Xenecore material and process results in the manufacture of solid frames that achieve the highest strength-to-weight ratio in the industry,” added Choe.

As a result, the Xenecore and Donnay racquets match hollow racquets’ power potential in a flexible frame like the old wood racquets but without the weight. “It’s what we call ‘arm-safe performance,”’ Choe said, “all the zing but without the sting.”

Other racquet companies fill a few of their models with a solid core substance for their sponsored tour professionals and high-level tournament players but the substance (usually polyurethane) makes the racquet too heavy for recreational players.

Xenecore and Donnay are the perfect balance for modern tennis of high performance and no risk,” says Choe.

“It’s not just a claim or a slogan,” he adds. “We’re so confident that we’re guaranteeing players won’t suffer an upper extremity injury while using a Xenecore or Donnay racquet. If they do – even if it’s a wrist, arm, elbow or shoulder injury from improper stroke mechanics, they can choose to return it for a full refund with a note from the attending physician about the injury.”

(To see the full study entitled “A mechanical study on tennis racquets to investigate design factors that contribute to reduced stress and improved vibrational dampening,” go to http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877705813010667 and click on the “download the PDF” in the upper left-hand corner.)

Donnay and Xenecore designs, manufactures, and distributes premium tennis equipment, apparel, and accessories under the Donnay brand. The technologically advanced and innovative new X-P Dual, X-Dual and Formula and Pro One racquets developed using XēneCore™ Technology represent the return of Donnay to the global market. Headquartered in New York City, the company’s products can be found in tennis specialty shops as well as online.

Donnay’s New Social Media Platforms (XeneCore Tennis)

Donnay can now be found on its new social media platforms:

With the release of the new 2014 XeneCore racquet line, we have moved our social media platforms to our new XeneCore Tennis pages.

Follow us at the following pages:

SaveInTown: http://www.saveintown.com/savefile.php?id=1771
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/XeneCore-Tennis/1391235354432307
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/xenecoretennis
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/xenecoretennis

XeneCore 2014 Racquet Line Now Available

XENECORE, Inc., the Next Generation Racquet Technology company, has just announced the production of it’s own Branded Tennis Racquet line for Spring 2014.

XENECORE, Inc. was founded in 2007 and developed it’s “Solid Core” Technology to address the Arm Injury Epidemic (Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist) that inflicts so many current Tennis Pros and Recreational Players.  Arm Shock from repetitive racquet/ball contact with Empty, Hollow Core frames is the leading factor to arm injury cases.  XENECORE Technology, combined with it’s Dual Core System (multiple cores within the hoop of each frame), are credited with substantially reducing shock while increasing power and performance.  Since 2010, XENECORE, Inc. has been “Powering” the iconic DONNAY brand frames with “Arm Safe Performance”.  Now, XENECORE, Inc. will produce it’s own branded frames with it’s own proven technology with the X-Dual, XP Dual, Pro One and Formula Family of Models.

“Our message to our customers, dealers and industry leaders is very simple.  XENECORE Technology is the key to manufacturing the Safest High Performance Racquet in the World! Since we first released our technology into Donnay racquets in 2010, it has been our mission to improve playability while protecting our customers from serious arm, wrist and shoulder injuries.  For these reasons we are proud to present our new Spring 2014 line as Xenecore technology will continue to revolutionize the game of tennis for years to come, taking performance to the next level while keeping players healthy.” – Jerry Choe, CEO/Founder of Xenecore, Inc.

Donnay Tennis Racquets Meet Pinterest on the Court!

Donnay Tennis Racquets Now on PinterestDonnay is now serving it up on another social media platform: Pinterest!

We’re excited to inspire our followers by visualizing what we’re most passionate about.

From tennis health news, the current medical view on tennis ailments, tennis safety and our arm-safe tennis racquets, we’re covering the pinning bases at a rapid speed.

Follow us at http://pinterest.com/donnayusa in order to see our latest pins! Don’t forget to browse our foundational boards:

  • Tennis Racquets
  • Health Comes First
  • Medical View
  • Tennis Safety
  • Tennis Health News

We’d love to hear your thoughts on our Pinterest boards. Be sure to drop us a line right here on our Safety Blog. You can also hit us up on Facebook and Twitter! We look forward to connecting.

‘Tell-A-Friend’ Tennis Racquet Referral Program Promotes Camaraderie on the Court

We’d like to introduce our newest campaign – the Donnay Tell-A-Friend Referral Program! Here’s the scoop: If you refer a friend to purchase a Donnay tennis racquet, you can receive a cash rebate of up to 10% on your referral’s total purchase!

TTennis Racquet Referral Program by Donnayhe exciting part is that not only do you receive the 10% discount, but so does your friend! There is no minimum or maximum amount you have to spend in order to be awarded the discount, all you need is a Donnay account. Register for your account now, at: http://www.donnayusa.com/shop/register.php.

To ‘tell-a-friend,’ create your referral link using the Tell-A-Friend Referral Program guidelines, and share it with fellow tennis fans! If this doesn’t inspire your volley partners to shop with Donnay, we don’t know what will!

Care to play before you pay? Don’t forget that Donnay has a great tennis racquet demo program, offering one of the longest trial periods in the industry. You can test drive up to 3 of our tennis racquets for up to 3 weeks because we’re confident that you’ll love them!

Think this is a Referral Program worth chatting about? Be sure to share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment below. Don’t keep this awesome cash rebate perk to yourself, either – let your Facebook and Twitter buddies in on the secret! Go on, ‘tell-a-friend’!

Agassi’s ‘Organic’ Donnay Tennis Racquet Endorsement: The Best Deal Money Can’t Buy

Donnay Racquet in Use by Andre AgassiWe’ve been peppered with calls and e-mails here at Donnay after a story ran last week in the tennis trade bible, RSI Magazine, reporting that Andre Agassi recently bought 46 Donnay‘s X-P Dual tennis racquets from us. The question most asked in disbelief is, “Are you really NOT paying him to play?”

To set the record straight, the RSI article is absolutely true. Andre did a blind play test of 25 tennis racquet frames from four different manufacturers and chose the Donnay X-P on its performance merits, with no (purse) strings attached.

But, we can appreciate the dumfounded cynicism out there about the very idea of a modern celebrity using a product that he or she isn’t getting paid to eat, drink, wear, drive…or in this case, use to smack a fuzzy yellow ball. Especially since Andre and Head Racquets have been inseparable since 1993, a year after he won his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon wielding the original Donnay Pro One.

The Donnay-Agassi ‘no-deal’ deal flies in the face of modern deal-happy celebrities who attach their names and likenesses to just about any brand that’s willing to pay the big bucks, even if they don’t necessarily use it, as was the case of Britney Spears and Pepsi in 2001. She signed a multi-million dollar ad deal with the soft-drink brand that that was suddenly terminated when she was caught on camera guzzling a Coke.

Today, skeptical and sophisticated consumers wonder: Does Sarah Jessica Parker actually color her hair with Garnier? ‘Only her hairdresser knows for sure,’ to borrow a classic advertising slogan. And does LeBron really wear those $315 Nike signature shoes he endorses? Probably, but it wouldn’t be the first time a superstar painted over his trusty and beloved sneaks with the Nike Swoosh.

Pro tennis players in particular are notorious for endorsing tennis racquets they don’t really use. Roger Federer’s personal racquet customizer told a reporter in 2010 that his client’s sticks aren’t the BLX variety he hawks, but cosmetized versions of his old Pro Staff models.  Thomas Muster, the former World No 1 player from Austria, was once asked by a reporter why he switched from a Kneissl model to a Head racquet. He candidly answered, “Same racquet. New paint job.”

Tennis Racquet Used by Petra KvitovaLook at a photo of the racquet Petra Kvitova uses in her WTA Tour matches. It has Wilson’s Perimeter Weighting System (PWS) that is distinctive and unmistakable because PWS consists of two bulges at the 9 and 3 o’clock positions on the racquet face. The model she advertises – the Wilson Steam 100 BLX – is smooth and bulge-less and belongs in the Pro Staff family of Wilson racquets.

What we love about Agassi’s ‘no-deal’ deal with Donnay is that it’s an extremely rare case of genuine organic interest from the tennis legend, not the usual play-for-pay.

It’s the kind of endorsement that affirms the quality of our brand. And that’s something not even Nike money can buy.

Andre Agassi’s Donnay Tennis ‘No-Deal’ Deal Q&A Break Down

You’ve got questions about Agassi’s use of Donnay tennis racquets and we’ve got answers…

Q: Did fellow X-P user and fellow senior tour player Jim Courier or Roman Prokes, Agassi’s racquet customizer and Donnay retail dealer, talk Andre into playing with Donnay racquets?

  • A: No. Andre’s decision was strictly his own, following an extensive blind play test.

Q: Will Donnay try to formalize its relationship with Andre contractually?

  • A: There are no plans at this time. Our understanding is that he strictly wants a tennis racquet that will help him best compete at the highest level. For now, he’s strictly Donnay’s biggest single customer with his massive order of frames.

Q: Is Agassi getting a discount?

  • A: Yes, he’s receiving a volume discount on the frames.

Q: Didn’t Agassi have a lifetime deal with Head?

  • A: We have no idea of what his relationship is with any current or former sponsor.

Q: Didn’t Agassi hate his original Donnay Pro One?

  • A: According to Andre’s autobiography, “Open,” his coach, Nick Bolletieri, forced the racquet on him because he had cut a deal with a previous owner of the brand. He went back to his old racquet – the Prince Graphite – until Donnay got it right. We didn’t take over Donnay until 2009. Here’s what one chatter on the Tennis Warehouse boards had to say about that: “The new line of [Donnay] racquets is nothing like the old, and there is no greater witness for that than Andre himself. Once upon a time you couldn’t pay him a gazillion dollars to swing a Donnay; now he’s paying for them out of his own pocket. That’s quite a turnaround.” We, at Donnay, wholeheartedly agree.

Have a question about Agassi’s ‘no-deal’ deal with Donnay? Leave us a comment below, and we’ll follow up right here on our Arm Safe Performance blog.